BlackBerry to launch two new smartphones this year

Image: sturti via iStock

BlackBerry is reportedly bringing out two new Android-powered smartphones this year, following the release of its well-received DTEK50.

According to a number of industry experts and bloggers, the devices – currently code-named Hamburg and Rome – should be expected by 2017.

Android Authority and Know Your Mobile have both reported that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved the Hamburg.

There has been some dispute over whether the smartphone will be a high-end or mid-range model. Know Your Mobile has predicted that it will be a mid-level device, expecting a purchase price of around $400 (£299) when it is released.

It is thought at this stage that the Hamburg will feature a touchscreen, whilst the Rome will be produced with a physical QWERTY keyboard. This is a feature that has been missed by a number of commentators, including the Verge’s Ashley Carman.

The Hamburg will apparently come with a 2,610mAh battery. Criticisms of the DTEK50 were largely centred around battery performance, so it is hoped that the Hamburg will improve on that.

According to the FCC-approved paperwork for the Hamburg, it will support multiple frequency bands of 4G LTE, 3G and 2G networks as well as WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2 LE and Micro-USB.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has previously said that by targeting the higher end of the smartphone market, his firm may have not made the best decision. This is because the biggest buyers of BlackBerry products are businesses making bulk purchases for employees, which tend to require more mid-level devices.

GFXBench has reported that the Hamburg is expected to include a 1080p 5.2 inch display and a Snapdragon 615 processor, with an Adreno 405 GPU and 3GB of RAM.

It is being reported that the Rome will be priced at around $500 and will feature more high-end spec than the Hamburg. It is thought that the Hamburg will be released first.